The Ins and Outs of Sex Tech
Sex sells. This adage is well-worn and has been used in reference to TV, traditional magazine advertising, billboards and cinemas. With that in mind, there’s no shock to see it being exploited in the world of virtual reality and other accompanying technology. In this case, however, it’s less “sex sells” and more “sell sex.” Pornography has usurped virtual reality in a sweeping manner perhaps more than any other industry except gaming. Already hundreds of sites have cropped up that offer virtual sexual experiences for all the leading hardware; just last week Gamelink.com became the first company to optimize pornography for Google’s Daydream View headset.
VR is just the beginning however. An immersive sexual experience is one thing, but what it lacks is the tactile sensation. You are visually and aurally stimulated, but for all intents and purposes, this pornography is still the equivalent of watching a 2D film. Companies such as Kiiroo are looking to span this intangible void with a range of sex toys that blend hardware, software and social media together. These toys are for both men and women, with a stimulating vibrator equipped with remote sensors for the girls, and the SVir, a male masturbator somewhat reminiscent of a smart fleshlight.
These gadgets will allow couples to remotely connect and feel each other’s sensations, but they’re also able to sync up to adult videos and experience what you’re viewing in tandem with the on-screen action. The best part about these toys? They’re privy to the wonderful name of ‘teledildonics.’ Some people, however, will never be able to adopt these substitutes, no matter how developed the technology becomes. Luckily, in the age of the internet, there exists a whole host of websites that enable you to meet real and mature people with similar tendencies and expectations, so actual touch and physical contact are never too far away.
But what is the future of sexual technology? It’s tough to say. As virtual reality continues to develop and become more refined, we’ll definitely see a number of laws and patents start to roll out to ensure regulation and fairness. But as technology grows more inextricably connected, and with the innovations in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning, the very concept of sexual stimulation using smart devices or machines will need to be defined. If, in the future, a conscious sexual robot is developed, just how far would their rights extend? Would there be rights at all? And who would build, own and utilize such machines? It’s quite the mind-bender. For the moment, however, we’ll have to content ourselves with the current status quo in VR porn.